Ayesha Shand, Queen Camilla’s Niece, Opens Up About Endometriosis Surgery: ‘It’s Changed My Life’

Ayesha Shand made headlines in January when she posted about having endometriosis on Instagram and revealed she was getting surgery to treat the condition. Now, the niece of Queen Camilla is three months post-procedure and gave SheKnows an update on the recovery process at the Endometriosis Foundation of America‘s Blossom Ball on May 3, where Shand served as co-chair.

“It went really well,” Shand tells SheKnows of the surgery. “The recovery is good.” While some aspects were uncomfortable — “you really need to pee before you leave the hospital!” — and “the first few weeks are a little bit difficult, mobility-wise,” Shand said she “progressively start[ed] feeling better.”

She continued, “My first period was a bit painful. And since then, I’m taking one Tylenol per period and I used to be taking oxycodone, so it was a big change.”

Shand, who is the daughter of Camilla’s late brother Mark Shand, went public with her condition in January in an emotional social media post. She described the condition as “isolating, agonizing, and completely unbearable,” and described taking “hundreds of painkillers” to get through it. “[I] faint, vomit, spend nights and days crouched on the floor crying. This is all followed by intense waves of helplessness and depression,” she wrote in a caption to the tearful video.

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus begins to grow outside of it, on places like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other pelvic tissues — sometimes even growing in other areas of the body, per Mayo Clinic. It can lead to fertility issues, ovarian cysts, bloating, and extreme pain, especially during periods, and affects 1 in 10 women worldwide, per the World Health Organization — though it’s likely more, as the condition often goes undiagnosed.

At the Endometriosis Foundation event, Shand told SheKnows that sheer fatigue motivated her to share her endometriosis diagnosis, joining other stars with endometriosis who’ve opened up about having the condition, like Bindi Irwin, Padma Lakshmi, and Halsey. “I was just exhausted,” Shand said of why she went public with the diagnosis. “I was exhausted of no one knowing about it, of not knowing how to cope with it.” Her symptoms had gotten so bad, Shand continued, that for a week every month, “I was unable to leave my room or my bed, still working a full time job, working at night, throwing up, spending five hours in the bath,” she recalled.

Having surgery to remove the lesions — one of the few treatments for endometriosis — has made a huge difference. “It’s changed my life,” Shand said. The advocate was at UPenn’s Wharton School earlier in the week, and said the experience was noticeably different after having surgery. “For the first time I wasn’t, like, fainting in class,” Shand said, smiling. “It was really cool.”

Before you go, learn about these celebs who’ve spoken about their health conditions:

Nous vous invitons…

Nous vous invitons à prendre rendez-vous avec un de nos psychologues, psychothérapeutes et psychopraticiens afin de faire un premier pas vers le changement que vous désirez. Si vous désirez obtenir de plus amples informations ou si vous avez des questions, n’hésitez pas à nous téléphoner. Vous pouvez prendre un rendez-vous par téléphone ou en envoyant un email au cabinet des Psychologues de Paris 9 (à l’attention du psychologue ou psychothérapeute de votre choix).